PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Celtic spirituality
Ritual Keeps Us Together: Lammas Day Rite

The Romans honored Demeter, the grain mother and overseer of the harvest, during August. The Celts celebrated Lughnassadh in honor of Lugh, their god of many skills. Lughnassadh was adopted and adapted by the Christian church as Lammas (“Loaf-mass”) and is still celebrated. The custom is that when the first grain is harvest, it must be baked into a loaf and offered to Lugh as thanks for healthy crops. Native Americans called August the Corn Moon, and the Franks referred to this time of year as Aranmanoth, The Corn Ears Month. Lammas Day, August Eve Ritual

 Essential elements for this ritual are wheat or barley, sheaves of grain, cauldron, water, one floating candle, one candle for each person present, and essential oils of rose, lavender, or other summer flowers.

...
Last modified on
Bright Blessings! A Celtic-inspired Midsummer Ritual

June is summer reaching its full glory. There have been many rites around the world to acknowledge the longest day of the year. The Japanese climb Mount Fuji at this time, for it is free of snow during two months in the summer. The Native American tribes of the Southwest and Great Plains hold ceremonies to honor the life-giving sun. Incan, Mayan, and Aztec midsummer rites honoring the sun gods were among their most important ceremonies. Here is a midsummer ritual my group has celebrated joyfully for years. 

 Essential elements for a Celtic-inspired Midsummer ritual are a wooden wheel, fallen branches and firewood, multicolored candles, multicolored ribbons, food and drink, and flowers for garlands. This ritual should be performed outside, ideally on a hill or mountaintop, at dusk. Call the local fire department to verify the fire laws in your area. You will likely need a special permit to light a bonfire, and certain areas may be restricted. Always clear the grass and brush away from your fire area, and make sure to dig a shallow pit into the ground. Circle the pit with rocks to help mark the edge of the fire pit as well as to contain the accidental spread of fire. Have a fire extinguisher, a pail of sand, and water bottles nearby in case the fire gets out of control. One person not directly involved in the ritual should be on hand to watch the fire at all times. Make sure the fire pit is far enough away from surrounding trees and other landscape features to allow for a group to dance around it.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree Magic: Sylvian Spells

In Celtic lore, certain kinds of trees were called wishing trees.   Taoists refer to them as money trees;  either way, they can be giving trees. Choose from among these magical trees, or trust your intuition in arboreal matters:

Willow- for healing broken hearts

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Plant Your Own Sacred Grove

My mother’s best friend passed away over the weekend and they had one of those incredible relationships you rarely hear about. They talked every day, mostly on the phone, but also saw each other often. I realized it would be a lovely tribute to my dear mother’s beloved friend to plant a flowering tree she can see to remind her of the gifts of that special bond. I have planted trees for people who passed and confess I even planted one for Michael Jackson which I can see right now out of the window by my writing desk. Michael’s tree is showy and is exploding in bountiful, beautiful purple flowers.

 

...
Last modified on

The fairy pools SkyeI was blessed this year to spend the summer solstice on the Isle of Skye, and the powerful eerie and eternal presence of the Black Cuillin mountains surrounded me every day. Known in Gaelic as An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, or the Isle of Mists, this is an Otherwordly place with a distinct feeling to it. Nowhere on earth feels like Skye. Its a place of memory, of spirits.

On the solstice I went on a pilgrimage to the famous Fairy Pools- a series of bright turquoise pools and rushing waterfalls, slicing through the land across a bright green marshy river valley. The source of the water is a vast and deep purple slit or crevasse splitting the massive hillside above from top to bottom with obvious vaginal imagery. This mountains Gaelic name can apparently can no longer be translated, but its powerful feminine presence is unmistakable. The fairy pools are said to have no specific Faery myths attached to them, but their name is well earned. Anyone visiting can feel the unique atmosphere of this beautiful place, and the bright waters, pouring endlessly from the vaginal mountain flanked on either side by immense rocky thighs together with numerous traces of ancestral barrows and possible neolithic rock carvings dotting its landscape strongly suggest this was once a sacred complex, probably honouring the goddess of the mountain. There was one barrow ( an ancient burial mound usually for a chieftain or healer traditionally used for ancestral ritual) which was clearly to be seen, its roof fallen away but its rocky internal structure- small internal 'rooms' off a small central passage- was in the perfect position, by the side of one of the waterfalls to have allowed a view of the Great Goddess and space to enact entrance to Her womb/ tomb, as the ancient priestesses of the site sat in vigil in the barrows sacred darkness, seeking rebirth and vision.      

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Though many Celtic pagans celebrate the new year at Samhain, early January still has a distinct feeling, as the hubbub of the winter solstice and Christmas celebrations subsides and we are left with the blank page of the year ahead. Now is a good time to encourage stillness and contemplation within our days if we are able, and to be aware of keeping our energies clear to allow the wisdom of spirit to emerge into our awareness and maintain our focus on our plans ahead. Traditionally for those who acknowledge the 12 days of Christmas there is an opportunity to seek omens each of the twelve days for guidance in the year ahead, but truly the world of spirit always shows us signs and messages if we open up to their potential. Seeking time every day to find stillness and open ourselves to the natural world around us allows us to receive this messages at any time.

Throughout January spend some time, even for just a few minutes, outside. Be in wild nature if you can, but just feeling the earth beneath your feet, or seeing the sky or having the wind on your face is all you need. Breath deeply and let your senses open gently, focusing on nothing in particular…let yourself remember that the earth is alive and sacred, wherever you are, and just connect. Be with it. Be aware of the flight of birds, the shapes of clouds, the sound the wind makes, know that spirit is speaking to us always, and let their meaning and messages come to you in each its own way. Listen. Breathe. Pay attention to your dreams.  

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

January, if we are lucky and our daily lives allow, can be a time of contemplation, of looking back over the past year, of quietly getting our lives in order, whilst also looking ahead to the summer to come. While the earth seems to sleep, with long nights and cold days, the first new shoots make it above ground and buds on the trees remind us that spring isn't far...but the time of quiet is still here for a while at least. I always find a struggle against natures rhythms is never very productive, and it's better to do what must be done in the modern world and retire to the fireside or get out under wide winter skies as much as possible. January to me is a liminal time, a threshold point and should be honoured as such- neither here nor there, neither the renewal and festivity of winter solstice nor the bright candlelight of Imbolc...it's that in between time when magic can really happen, when things can really change if we catch the moment and steer ourselves a little differently, or weave a new thread into our webs of wyrd.

I think the Celts of the past new this well, and liminal magic seems to be a forgotten skill of theirs. Janus figures, two faced gods named after the Roman god of beginnings and doorways crop up all over the Celtic world and are undoubtedly pre-Roman deities but are often unknown among those following the Celtic path today. Famous examples include  the double-faced horned Iron Age statue ( 4th - 2nd century BCE)  from Holzgerlingen in Germany, the two headed sculpture from Roquepertuse   ( 600-124 BCE) and the two double faced god statues, which are probably Iron age,  from Boa island in Ireland.

...
Last modified on

Additional information